Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye

I gave this to Miss Adventure to read while Mr. Curiosity and I were reading Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. I’m still following many suggestions in The Well-Trained Mind for homeschooling, and Bauer and Wise recommend having middle-schoolers read some of the original literature. They recommended this version of Beowulf for the younger audience. After I talked to Miss Adventure about the book, I realized there were some significant differences between the two versions. I decided to read this version to compare to Heaney’s.

Published: 1968

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 92 pages

Setting: Scandinavia, some time before it was written

SummaryShort version: Beowulf defeats the monsters Continue reading

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Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney

This is one of Mr. Curiosity’s Great Books of the medieval period he’s reading this year. I like to read along with him so we can discuss the book together. I’m pretty sure I read the book in high school, but I only remembered that Beowulf fights the monster Grendel.

Published: this edition in 2000, originally between the seventh and tenth centuries, CE

Genre: epic poetry

Length: 213 pages, but for each two-page spread, the right page is the original middle English, and the left page is the translation, so you’re most likely only going to read half of that

Setting: Scandinavia, some time before it was written

Summary: Short version: Beowulf is awesome and defeats all the monsters Continue reading

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Painted Grassy Mire by Nicasio Andres Reed

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Shimmer Magazine (you can read it free online at that link – check it out. It has some lovely illustrations to go along with the story)

Genre: fantasy short story

Setting: near Lake Borgne, Louisiana, present day

Summary: Short version: A girl finds her alligator selkie family Continue reading

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Dragon Harper by Anne and Todd McCaffery

It’s a book about dragons and Pern, so of course I’m interested. It is the third book in a series, though, so start with Dragon’s Kin if you’re interested.

Published: 2008

Genre: fantasy

Length: 299 pages

Setting: mostly Harper’s Hall, soon after the events of Dragon’s Fire

Summary: Short version: Life as an apprentice in Harper Hall, with a plague Continue reading

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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

I’m not exactly sure how this book got put on my “read to the kids” list. I’m sure it had something to do with being a book in verse. It was our first read aloud book for the school year, mainly because it was available as an ebook. I had chosen a different book, but Mr. Curiosity went and read it the weekend before I was going to start reading it aloud, so I needed a quick backup without being able to go to the library.

Published: 2011

Genre: middle grade historical fiction book in verse

Length: 272 pages

Setting: Vietnam and Alabama, 1975

Summary: Short version: Immigrant story from the Vietnam War Continue reading

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The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

This is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy. I loved the first one so much I had to get the next one right away.

Published: 2016

Genre: science fiction, although this one is more fantastical than the first. I’m considering this a future Earth achieved through science, hence scifi.

Length: 391 pages of text, 407 pages with appendices

Setting: mostly around Castrima and Found Moon, immediately after events in The Fifth Season

Summary: Short version: How to develop a community in catastrophe Continue reading

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Murder or a Duck by Beth Goder

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: October, 2016 at EscapePod (you can either read or listen to the story at that link if you’re interested)

Genre: time travel

Setting: Victorian England

Summary: Short version: Mrs. Whitman is looking for her husband across timelines Continue reading

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